Art & Craft Ideas, Art Classes Students, Dubai, Fairs & exhibitions in Dubai, Recyling, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Reduce., Reuse, T U T O R I A L S, Trash to Treasure, Workshops and Classes

Organizing Craft workshop and designing masks.

Did you know, not every great artist can be good teacher.

Arts and Crafts are a very personal affair and very few of us have the flair to “teach”.

Most of us are excellent at demonstrating our skills as artists and designers but teaching is a skill, all on its own and not all of us are equipped with what it takes to be an motivational teacher.

I believe a ‘good’ teacher is one who can inspire you, one who has patience, and one who is prepared to accept the chaff (those who may not be exceptional talented but who are zestful and eager to learn ) as well as the wheat grain.  Alot of people believe that you have to be born with artistic skills – but I don’t adhere to that theory. Skills can be cultivated and talent can be honed.  Everyone who stumbles upon a craft-kit, is not looking to build something magnificent – but he might find comfort in simply ‘trying’ to build something abstract out of it – maybe that is his prowess. That’s where the creative adroitness of the instructor comes handy.

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I’m going to talk more about crafts here, rather than arts.

I have been teaching crafts for the last 12 or so, years, in schools, art institutes, with corporate organizations, and one aspect that stands out in “crafts” is that, alot of planning and organisational skills are required for a workshop or class.

Some of the aspects, you should figure out before committing to a workshop are :-

  • The length of the activity
  • The age of the group
  • The ability of the group
  • Will any assistance be provided for a group larger than 7 or 10 participants ?
  • The venue and availability of wash basin, electric socket.
  • Hanging equipment if project needs to be hung for drying.
  • Leg work on the theme :- research the theme, source photographs, make a fancy power point presentation and have a small write-up to introduce the background story to the students
  • Plan all the supplies needed.
  • Inorder to calculate all the supplies and quantities needed, I suggest to ‘actually’ work this activity out and figure out how much time and the quantity of supplies needed. Then add that by the number of participants.  And remember to carry spares.
  • Visiting the venue atleast once before the workshop is a good idea. And it also helps to develop a smooth rapport with the coordinators.
This December, I was invited to give a workshop at DUCTAC located at Mall Of Emirates.

Crafts are so much fun but it can be challenging when we coordinate the activity with the curriculum or in this case, the theme.

The theme was Threads:  A link between two totally different cultures or countries, of a peculiar habit, tradition, game, food, ritual, structure etc. Obviously, I had to come up with a craft based on it as well.

I found this theme very exciting and after a day of relentless research, i was fascinated with what I discovered. While at it, I also realized, what separates us, are our differences, while in our similarities, we find solace and unity.

Here are just a few of the similarities I found, in my research. (ofcourse, there must be a few hundred more !!)

  • China – India                                                            ⇔ Kites

    Both the countries are known for the zest with which they enjoy the sport of playing with Kites. However, kites in China, are much more elaborate and designed in various shapes, much unlike India.

  •  U.S.A – Russia – China – Burma                       ⇔ Bells

    Amongst many other countries, these four countries are known to have Bells playing a remarkable and important historical role.

  • Egypt – Mexico – Cambodia – China                ⇔ Pyramid structure

    Although the Egyptian Pyramids are the most popular structures known worldwide, Mexico, Cambodia and China are also known to have their own ancient mystical prism structures.

  • Africa – India – China – Japan                           ⇔ Masks

    Different cultures symbolize the mask with various deities, animal, spirit or human. Made from ceramic, wood etc, communities use masks for weddings, funerals, coming of age. They ask for spirit blessings, protections etc. They use it to tell stories and impart wisdom. Used in puppetry as well as ceremonial celebrations.

  • Australia –  USA Arizona                                    ⇔ Boomerang

    Although the earliest boomerang was designed in Australia, it is widely used and played with in Arizona – USA.

  • Mexico – China                                                     ⇔ Bowls

    (Taco Bowl / Bowl to eat rice and noodles) Rice is one of the staple grains in both Mexico and China – Infact they handicraft their own bowls to eat it in !

  • Bali – Mauritius                                                    ⇔ Woven baskets  

    Both Bali and Mauritius weave their own baskets but in different designs and colors and techniques.

I decided that my subject would be Masks.  It intrigued me just as much it did, to the children.  I provided the children with cardboard after the power point presentation on how, why, when and where masks are worn,  all over the globe and then asked them to design their own masks, providing them inspiration and a whole lot of recyclable material. It was amazing what the children came up with – far beyond expectation. mask-making-craft-3

Here are a few samples from one of the groups.

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One of the reasons, I love this project is becoz it helps children play and utilize scraps of foam, cardboard, buttons, macaroni, foam cups, beads, thereby realizing and understand the main concept of reusing items found around the house.

Clearly the kids enjoyed it and got to take a little of History and Geography back home too !!

I believe imparting  knowledge and information is very gratifying.

I hope I have been able to inspire you into trying something new, something unique and something fun today. If so.. please do write to me.

Thank you for visiting me today. Trust you will stay a while and leave some love in your comments.

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D I Y, Makeovers, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., T U T O R I A L S, Trash to Treasure, WOODEN Projects

A chair makeover ! (short tutorial)

Dear friends, I have this HUGE good news to share with you.

I am super delighted to be honored with the “FAVORITE BLOG AWARD” from Expat Woman !!! You will notice my brand new trendy badge shinning on the left sidebar.  This is the first recognition I have received from the middle east and in my own imaginary world ~ I feel almost like a celebrity !!!  And a celebrity gets to give a thank you speech ~  right ??

Don’t worry, I’ll keep it brief.   I have always been an avid diary writer from a young age so I think, it came quite naturally that I wished to share my creative adventures in my tiny corner of the blog-world. That I’m receiving visitors from far and near, making friends and being blessed with such encouragement is a reward in itself, so receiving this award is nothing short of a BONUS ! Thank you Expat woman ~ I so appreciate it.

Thank you friends for visiting my previous post about the 7 ways to repurpose pallets and leaving your own thoughts and ideas about upcycling the pallets. I’m always looking for inspiration and  I so hope to try out some of your ideas, provided some of those pallets are left !!

And now to the post at hand !

We never knew this poor chair existed until we moved to the new house, last December and found it tucked away, somewhere behind in one of the sheds. Finally, after all these months, I’ve given it a little TLC and look at the transformation.

A little sanding ~ two glossy coats and alittle white acrylic paint on some patterned stencil, did  wonders to this neglected piece of furniture.

I love how it turned out and it now graces my bedroom 🙂

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Heres a small pictorial showing a step by step process :-

A little sanding later and the grateful chair was pining for some color !

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That’s Keiki, my help-at-hand !!

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stencils are by Simply stencils – Plaid

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I let the chair dry for nearly 3 days and then began the stenciling. Again, another help-at-hand ! That’s “mama cat”

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I used a sponge to “dab” some white acrylic paint on the stencil.

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Acrylic paint dries very quickly so if the paint has smudged at the edges, you have work quick to clean it up.

And there you have it !!

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Recycled :- Chair, sponge (for dabbing ), foam container for spreading paint and dabbing sponge.

And that’s that !!

I am linking this chair transformation to the following linking parties :-

A little TLC can do wonders for not only humans but also objects ~ point proved.

Thank you for visiting me today. Please feel free to join me on Bloglovin or subscribe to my posts by clicking on the above left sidebar.

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Till my next post, I bid you farewell, dear friends.

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Alter Art, Altered Box, Altered Pizza Box, Altered Wall hanging, Gift Ideas, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure

Pizza Box Canvas

Hi friends ! I’ve been so overwhelmed with Mixed Media lately. All mediums of art have some need and form of color but with mixed media, two words stand out ~ Texture and Layers ! I feel like, I cannot have enough of the various elements, one can explore and experiment with ! It is just so much fun !! Frugal as I am, I decided to teach all my mixed media workshops on the back of “pizza boxes” ~ some of my students were really surprised and some impressed ! Every Friday, my husband treats the boys to pizza ~ its almost like a ritual at our house, so much so that the lady at Pizza Hut actually inquired why we were “missing in action” while we were holidaying in London !! I have been collecting these boxes and amongst other uses, (see here and here for other projects out of pizza boxes ) I have started using them as a canvas for my mixed media projects.  A layer or two of gesso and the red of the box just vanishes. In this particular project, a lot of diecuts have been used including swirls, large flowers, small flowers, Tim Holtz frame and stand diecut and the bird cage. Two flowers made with some scraps of fabric, bottle caps with pearls embedded in them and lots of glitter scattered here and there !! The quote is profound.  Quite honestly, you cant go wrong with something like this ~ and that’s what I always encourage my students. The process is important and not the product ~ if you enjoy the process ~ the product with turn out to your satisfaction.  Splashes of bright colors over colors and the use of several diecuts is virtually what this canvas is all about. With the way things are going, I am happy to report that I think I am doing my bit to recycle and help with the environmental issues around our neighborhood. Recycled material :  Pizza box, scraps of left over fabric and bottle cap.  Fotor01025101819 Fotor01025102640 DSCF6022 I often get asked which is my favorite color and strangely enough, I don’t have any favorite colors except favorite color combinations. I love the combination of teal with dark brown or as in this project, purple brushed over shades of teal and pale yellow. I feel, we have a dozens of shades for every color today and its so difficult to judge which shade of blue or pink or red can be anyone’s favorite  ! what say ?? DSCF6025 DSCF6026 DSCF6027 Fotor01025103031 Fotor01025103941 I’ve always believed that art can and should be functional ~ but if its just got to sit on your wall, it should carry a message and it shouldn’t have to be occupied by 6 tubes of paint ! But that’s just me and that’s just the way my mind works ~ you can agree or maybe not. Anyways, I am sharing this project with the following parties :-

      Sundae Scoop  The Sunday Showcase The DIY Show Off Think Pink Sundays  Addicted 2 Decorating Flamingo Toes    I Heart Nap Time  Everyday Mom Meals   Homemaker on a Dime    Raising Memories  Nifty Thrifty Things     The Sweet Details  Clever Chicks blog hop, Will cook for smiles  DIY Sunday showcase  

Tip Junkie

Today’s Creative Blog

Mandy’s Recipe Box

Inside BruCrew Life Lady Bug Blessings  Blessed with Grace  Tuesday Talent Show Tutorials and Tips Back for Seconds Tuesday Trivia

From dream to realityWordless Wednesday  Flusters Creative muster Riverton housewives round up Wednesday Whats it

sugar and spice and everything nice

Thank you for visiting me today ~ please feel free to subscribe to my blog and keep in touch with all my projects ! Till then, ciao !

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Alter Art, Altered Wall hanging, Baby Arrivals, Collage Art, Gift Ideas, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure

My Angel’s Closet.

All pieces of art have a story to tell. They have shared something special with the artist who created it. They have taken a part of his own reflection, his belief and his passion.  Some pieces are accidental while some pieces are discussed and expected to be spontaneously spectacular.

While I was having the craft show, I wanted to make a few demo sample pieces of plaque works for people to be able to visualize how and where they can use my baby embellishments. Some of us are creatively challenged although I feel each one of us can create at some point or the other, with a little inspiration and alittle skill or taught techniques, it can be achieved easily.

This is a large piece of Plaster of Paris from the ceiling !!! Imagine that !!!!! With foil on one side and white embossed sheet on the other. I hope you got what I’m talking about !  What a joy such recycling projects are !

Long story short, I have a beautiful piece displaying how a mother can never tier of adoring all the tiny pieces of baby clothing and dresses, even in this miniature form. The two clothespin on the lower bottom right side are amazingly cute animals where a note or an envelope can be clipped to. Lots of diecuts have been used in shades of pink and blue, brown and patches of green too.

Now although this was supposed to be purely a display piece, one of my customers has been so insistent to buy it. Although I tried to put her off, what with the recycle issue with it, but she really seems to have a thing for this piece inspite of explaining it to her. She has called twice already  !!

So anyways, this piece will stay with me for only 2 days more and then its going to adorn the mantle or shelf or wall in one very happy little girls home.

Amongst all the embellishments, I love the crocket bath robe the most, Its like so awesomely cute and beautifully made. And how cute is that little tag about the tiny feet in the crochet basket !!

Please do tell me which one of the gorgeous embellishments you liked the most. Enjoy the plaque.

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I’d like to enter this plaque in several challenges and link parties as follows :

Here is the list of linking parties I am joining.

Makeovers, Party Organization, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure

Metal Wire Rack~ Before & After.

A couple of months back, I found this rusty blue metal wire rack on four wheels dumped around the bin. Needless to say, I wasnt just going to let it sit there. C’mom people. It was just calling out my name ~ well, sorta !!   It just needed a home much like the gazillion other things have found a home in MY home.

So inspite of the initial annoyance and resistence I got from Samie, becoz I already have 4 different types of large wheely display racks, we finally found a place for this rack in the courtyard, where it had been resting right up to the time the prepartion for the craft show began, and I decided we needed to give it a new lease of life. A little paint goes a very long way. Here’s the proof.

Arent you excieted to see how it turned out finally !! I know I am.

I am entering this gorgeous rack in the following links :

Thursday
Chic & Crafty                 House of Hepworths          Fireflies and Jellybeans         Fun to Craft
Somewhat Simple         Tales from Bloggeritaville     A Crafty Soiree             Just a Girl
A Little Knick Knack              Tickled Pink                 You Create                  20 Below
Time Travel Thursday          Making it With Allie        Catch A Glimpse
Friday
ffa Fridays~Sassy Sites          Friday Flair~WhipperBerry          Pity Party~30 Handmade Days 
Freckled Laundry                 Naptime Crafters              Feature Yourself Friday    Remodelaholic Anonymous
Favorite Things Friday            Frugal Friday               Friday fun Finds                 Fun to Craft
Bubbly Nature Creations           Tidy Mom             Catch As Catch Can                Flaunt it Friday
Friday Furniture Feature          Knock Off Party~     Creative Girls                      Inspiration Friday 
Feathered Nest Friday           Vintage Inspired Friday    Home Sweet Home    Designer Garden VIP Party  
Simple Home Life                Truly Lovely               Fun for Kids Fridays               The After Party 
Saturday
Whatcha Got Weekend~LollyJane   Saturday Nite Special      Check Me out Saturdays    Weekend Wrap Up Party
Show and Tell Saturday     Craft Envy     Lovely Crafty Weekends 
Sunday
Sundae Scoop    The DIY Show Off   Think Pink Sundays 
MONDAY
Dittle Dazzle            The DIY Home Sweet Home         It’s so Very Cheri            Me Making Do 
Making the World Cuter      Skip to my Lou                 Be ColorFul                    Craft-O-Maniac
Marketplace Monday       Motivate Me Monday           Polly Want a Crafter    Making Monday Marvelous  
Inspire Me Monday @ Singing Three Little Birds        Chocolate, Drool and Kisses    Make it for Less Monday’s
Alter Art, Altered Wall hanging, Challenges, Friendship cards, Love messages ~ cards, Mother, Recyling, Reuse, Reduce., Trash to Treasure

Right here for you.. .. .. .. wall hanging

This too, is from the trash to wall hanging series. It is the white board which was found dumped on the construction site. You may have to read my post, ” Mother ~ Wall hanging” , to get the full story on it. In short, it is recycled sheets that I have dressed up.

A very simple idea and concept is used. Have always liked the idea of using a fish bowl, although I dont approve of an animals or birds being caged or living in an aquarium 😦  ~~ Thats just not their place. Again, thats us, humans being selfish and self centered.

Such strong shades of blue and Orange are not exactly what I am comfortable with, but sometimes, when you actually work with it, somehow they look good when placed together. Both are handmade papers. The fishes are fabric. Some glitter for the bubbles, 3 brown buttons knotted with a yellow twine,  a simple but comforting sentiment, which is a digi stamp. The board is held up by  a satin orangish ribbon. I have made a deliberate effort at avoiding any flowery embellishments, becoz as always, I prefer the less-cluttered look.  Simplicity is always more striking and attractive.

Ladies, I would really like to take a moment here, to thank you all for all those loving comments that you leave behind for me. They are so encouraging. WOULD you believe, I feel, more inspired, to try out more, to try out different, to try out my best, becoz of those heartfelt comments. Thank you ladies. It means alot.

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Here are just a few challenges, I will enter this wall hanging for :

  • Paper Sundaes (3E) –  Keep it Simple
  • Crafty Cardmakers  (2W, 3E) – Fabric
  • Incy Wincy Designs – for the boys
  • Make it Monday – anything goes
  • Ooh La La Creations (2W, SIO) – It’s a man thing
  • Pollycraft – SIO – Teen Cards
  • The Outlawz – Sentiment plus Animals
  • Clear It Out! – 2W – Buttons 
  • Going Grey With Scrap-Creations2E – Anything Goes 
  • Paper Take Weekly – 3 of Something {3 buttons }
  • Desert Island Crafters – 2W,– choose 3 ~ Not a Card!, Buttons, Unusual Sentiment (ie. not “Happy Birthday” or “Best Wishes” etc), 
  • My Grafico – M, – anything goes
  • Paper PrettiesSIO – masculine
  • Crafty Sentiments1E, SIO –  Animals 
  • Digi Doodle Shop’s BestSIO –  Anything Goes 
  • Card Makin’ Mamas – 2W, 2E – animals
  • Delicious Doodles3E, SIO – dimensional project
  • Paper Cutz – your choice
  • Totally Papercrafts – buttons
  • Secret Crafter – Anything But a Card 
  • Really Reasonable Ribbon2W, must include ribbon
  • Sugar Creek Hollow  – 3E, SIO – Anything Goes 
  • Totally Gorjuss – Button It 
  • Our Creative Corner –  Don’t Throw That Away
  •  If the shoe fits ~ Aquamarine
  • One Stitch At A Time – Something for the Boys